Ireland announces EV subsidy programme details for 2022

        Ireland’s Department of Transport announced details of electric car subsidies in the coming year: 100 million euros will be made available for this purpose in 2022, almost twice as much as in 2021. Purchase subsidies for fully electric cars and vans will continue at existing levels.

        Crucially, the new regulation will no longer cover purchase subsidies for plug-in hybrids from 1 January 2022. This follows the PHEV subsidies previously having been halved to 2,500 euros in July. This move has not been without criticism, as Brian Cooke, director general of the Society of the Irish Motor Industry said: “This is a terrible decision, which is anti-consumer and anti-environment, only adding to the cost for the customer making a better environmental decision. PHEVs are an important stepping stone to going fully electric, particularly in parts of rural Ireland where this is a lack of charging infrastructure. For the first quarter of next year, PHEVs have been ordered well in advance of the budget.”

        The decision to eliminate support for hybrid vehicles was calculated, as Minister for Transport Eamon Ryan clarifies: “It is important that we continue to support consumers in making the switch to electric vehicles, and I am pleased to confirm a significant increase in supports for fully electric vehicles in 2022, and the supporting recharging infrastructure. The arrival of long-range, fully electric vehicles on the market means that range anxiety can become a thing of the past. A single charge on one of these will cover well over 400km range. While plug-in hybrids provided a part-electric solution for motorists who took longer journeys or were concerned about EV range, they were a compromise in terms of both emissions and air quality.”

        So far this year, 7,452 new PHEVs have been registered in Ireland, making up 7.4 per cent of the new car market. That’s significantly up on last year, when PHEVs made up just 2.8 per cent of new car sales, despite the halved subsidy regulation. The question how much exactly hybrid vehicles contribute to cleaning up the environment was addressed in a recent Transport & Environment (T&E) study: “Over the lifetime of the vehicle, a new PHEV in 2020 will emit about 28 tonnes of CO2, slightly less than a conventional hybrid car (33 tonnes). In comparison, a petrol or diesel car emits 39 tonnes or 41 tonnes, respectively”. Furthermore, it has been found that some hybrid vehicle drivers simply take advantage of the subsidies and drive the vehicle as a regular combustion vehicle.


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